(WWJ/AP) -Morenci Police say the disappearance of three young brothers has turned into a murder investigation. Morenci Chief Larry Weeks said Tuesday he wants to put to rest any hope that the boys will be found alive. He says the boys’ father, John Skelton, is the primary suspect. He’s already charged with parental kidnapping.

Nine-year-old Andrew, 7-year-old Alexander and 5-year-old Tanner Skelton were last seen on Thanksgiving at their father’s home in Morenci along the Michigan-Ohio border, 70 miles southwest of Detroit.

Meantime, organizers are putting together a number of community events to increase the reward fund for tips that lead to the boys’ return. The Mayor of Morenci has formed a special committee to handle the effort, which includes an auction at the local high school and a “yellow ribbon project”.

Their father, John Skelton, has told police he gave his sons to an organization, but has not released the name. At a court hearing last week, Skelton said, “I can’t,” when a judge asked if he was prepared to give the boys to their mother.


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